Saturday, 2 January 2010

A year of possibilities...........

....... stretches ahead of me; I have a head full of plans and ideas, projects and intentions - about par for the course for a new year. It's like having a whole new day in front of you, only bigger! There's a lot I want to tackle this year, but not so much that I can't attempt it all and get most of it done at least.


Get on with the decorating that fizzled out at the back end of 2009 due to illness
Get the rest of the curtains sorted
More de-cluttering
Make sure I actually use what I've got - if not, away it goes!
Keep on top of the housework, laundry, etc
Keep the housework to the mornings only, freeing up the afternoons for gardening, making, reading, thinking, etc - I do this more or less already, but needs refining a bit!
Try and clear the kitchen every evening, ready for the next day
Get back on track with prepping, stocking up, etc
Be more organised with my paperwork - badly needed, this one!


Grow more vegetables
Try some new "old" varieties
Take more time to sit out and enjoy it
More bird watching
Tidy the shed LOL - it's a bit hairy in there!
Get rid of as much plastic as possible, sue clay pots, wooden trays etc
Rejuvenate all the ponds
Plant a couple more trees
Start coppicing
Charcoal burning
Get the bread/pizza oven built
Maybe breed some rare breed chickens
Grow a good dye garden
Plant more wild/foraging plants
Investigate forest gardening and apply
Ditto more biodynamics and planting by the moon
Try and grow a year's worth of tomatoes for bottling, fresh and sauce, etc


Make more bread and expand my range
Ditto cheese
Bake more
Make more clothes
Knit more socks
Start at least one new craft
Make more music - keep the fiddle going, get out guitar and banjo
Make more cards to replenish year's stock
Spin more
Dye more
Make a year's worth of saop
Make more candles

Me time (very important!)

Get back to drawing and painting
Walk more
Get to the woods more
Avoid people that annoy me - that includes on the net!
Spend more time just being, thinking, musing, preferably out in the garden
Keep up the reading
Keep out of the bigger towns as much as possible

Bits and bobs

Use it up
Avoid the supermarkets even more
Eat more healthily
Hang my clothes up!
Get the book/s finished and published
Keep up with the blogs, happy to share my recipes, thoughts, patterns, etc
Have more faith in my own abilities

Not resolutions as such, more building on and refining what I do already, another stage in the progression of the way I live I suppose

Most of all - take it slowly, and relish the whole of 2010; enjoy every minute of it if I can, make the most of it all and be content.

It all looks do-able and possible written down like that, doesn't it? lol I'll see how I go, but you'll be able to follow my progress on here as usual. Never mind, onwards and upwards with hope in my heart.................

Friday, 1 January 2010

Once in a blue moon New Year's Eve

A full moon, a blue moon and New Year's Eve - a potent mix.

Photo by MrL.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Here's to 2010!

All best wishes to you all for 2010 - I hope the new year brings everything you would want, and more. Thanks for all your reading, comments and support over the past year, it's much appreciated.
I know I'm looking forward to a new year, I've lots of things I want to try out, and will hopefully get to share them on here with you all.

Happy New Year!



Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Use it up January!

I have resolved that the new month, January, will be Use It Up - this means no more buying of wool, fabric, other things, until I've got through various stashes and collections I already have. It will run to food as well - I need to clear the smaller freezer and defrost it as I have a whole pig coming this month, so need a clean and empty freezer for it to go in, along with all the resulting bacon, sausages, etc. There are various things in the store and larder too that need sorting through and using up, so that's on the list too. This will all hopefully make it easier when I come to De-clutter February - best laid plans of mice and men, and all that, though. I'll see how I go, but I'm looking forward to delving into some bags and boxes to find things I haven't seen for some time LOL
As a taster, I've started a stashbusting jumper, pictured above, using up all odds of chunky-ish wool hanging around. It's going to be very warm, not to mention colourful! :)
Here's to less "stuff" in the New Year!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Recycling the Christmas tree.............

I think it's a great thing that councils here in the UK offer some sort of shredding facility for Christmas trees - there's no excuse really for just dumping it. However, we recycle ours at home, there's lots of possibilities. I make sure that every shred of decoration is off it, then drag it outdoors to the back garden. The branches are cut off, then some are shredded to use as a mulch. The pine needles are qutie acid, so provide an excellent mulch for acid loving plants - ornamental ones, but mine tend to go on the strawberries - very good for them. Sometimes I shred, other times, I just lay the smaller branches around them and leave them to rot down. I have a lovely environmentally friendly old shredder, worked by a handle with human power - no noise, no fumes, no fossil fuels for that, and it was at least second hand when I was given it. The rest of the branches are chopped up or shredded and put on the compost heap. This year, some will be added to my new blueberry plants too, to give them a boost. The trunk is left to dry out for a while, then sawn and stacked in the wood shed for burning in the stove or woodburner next winter. This year, I might purloin a bit of it for my wood carving that I hope to get done, thus giving me another option.
We have a very lovely tree this year - a very fresh dark green one; it wasn't particularly cheap, but it was local, cut from the field behind the farm shop. So, these further uses are a good way of adding extra value for money!

Monday, 28 December 2009

MrsL's turkey curry

This recipe is one I use a lot, and vary the main ingredient to put in the sauce - cooked meat of various kinds, boiled eggs, vegetables, etc. It's based on the Hugh F-W recipe for Murgh Makhani, which is a favourite of ours, but takes quite a long time to prepare and cook - this version is a quickie one, but still very good.

Put two tins of chopped tomatoes into a large pan with a scant 1/4 pint of cold water and 5 cloves; put to simmer, and leave to thicken and reduce. Fish out the cloves. Add the following: 3 tbsp plain yoghurt, 1 clove garlic chopped fine, 1 tsp fenugreek, 1tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, dollop of tomato puree, 1 tbsp honey, 2 oz butter, lots of freshly ground black pepper, 1 heaped tsp chilli powder, or more to taste. Stir well, and leave to simmer for about half an hour, covered. Add in your chosen ingredient - in this case, cooked chopped turkey, stir to combine and leave to get very well heated through. Just before serving, stir in a couple of tablespoons of cream. Serve with plain boiled rice. The sauce will freeze very well without the addition of the cream, so a bigger batch can be made and stored.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Nice start to the post Christmas week!

Had this appear out over the back this morning:

What a nice start to the day, even thought it's chilly and showery now lol Christmas os over , we had a lovely time, very quiet, just the four of us as usual; very relaxed, plenty to eat and drink, with a bit left over for this week, so shouldn't need to go shopping, which is a bonus!
I spent a couple of hours yesterday sorting through my seeds - it always re-enthsues me for the imminent growing season. I'm especially looking forward to getting back out in the garden after enforced absence due to a combination of bad health and wet and cold weather. There are signs of life out there, though - bulbs and buds, new shoots. I'm excited about this year as I have lots of plans (in my head...........) for both the front adn back gardens. The year gone was qutie productive food-wise, but I'm sure I can squeeze quite a bit more in with a bit of thought, so I'm going to go for it. We still have leeks, sprouts, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, Swiss chard, parsley, stored squashes.

I recently re-joined the H.D.R.A. (now GArden organic, but I still think of it by its old name), so I spent a happy half hour choosing my seeds from their Heritage Seed Library, so I've still those to come. Having had a really good sort out, I can see what I actually NEED, rather than think I need, so not a lot to buy, but there are a few more unusual things I would like to try and I've found a source of wild asparagus crowns which I've been after for a while, so will get them ordered too. I want to try skirret and cvapers, Good King Henry (again, can't seem to get it going here yet) and some Munchen radishes again, where you eat the pods rather than teh roots - aka rat's tail radish, which I grew a few years back.

I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas, I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things again.:)